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PostPosted: 03 Dec 2014, 15:08 
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Philippe du Plessis-Belliere - Sadist or just a cold angel?

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Philippe, Marquis du Plessis-Bellière, Angélique’s second husband, was one of the great nobles of France, dearly beloved by Louis XIV, whose Master of the Hunt he was, as well as a Marshal of France. Handsome, but cold and something of a misogynist, he bitterly resented having to marry Angélique, whom he abused on their wedding night at his Castle of Plessis.

Having been in love with her cousin Philippe since they were both children, Angelique more or less blackmailed him into marrying her, thus gaining a position in the high nobility of the realm of France.


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PostPosted: 03 Dec 2014, 15:15 
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I personally do not think Philippe was only a sadist, he had as well good inside...his character was more complicated, he did learn to be cold, not showing emotions... and he was of course very angry on Angelique, because she did put him down first, with her blackmailing for the marriage (Angelique, later in America, did admit to Joffrey it was rude blackmailing what she did to Philippe)...

I think Philippe just hated Angelique so much at the begin, because she degraded him:

"Philippe, you are absurd," Angélique replied in a voice as low as his. "Absurd, and not very subtle either. It is to your advantage for me to appear at Court. What right have you to torment me so?"
"You tormented me first."


Quote: Angelique & The King


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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 10:38 
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I was a bit puzzled when this character appeared in the first book (Angélique, Integral) and later (The Road to Versailles) -something did not fit. The author herself wrote his profile as puzzling for most characters.

However, if we judge his actions since the scene when they first met in Monteloup (when he rejected and insulted Angélique for being dirty - the hygienic customs of the 17th century were historically poor), some thread becomes apparent throughout.

His hatred of women, desire to humiliate them, specifically the beautiful women like Angélique or Ninon de Lenclos;
His adoration / love for King Louis XIV;
His mania for self grooming and his peacocking appearance;
His rage when the King gave minor signs of displeasure (like a rejected jealous woman);

For modern people, this suggests homosexuality, yet, unlike Monsieur, brother of the King, he expressed no desire towards males.

It's a bit different. His personality is not that of a gay man; is more like a woman. A conservative, stern woman, to be more specific. Insulting beautiful women around, calling them dirty (too well mannered to use the full expression, "dirty whores") is a feminine wickedness, not something males usually do. Just as women are more jealous than males and more sensitive to minor things. Just as his whipping of Angélique after their wedding night, telling her "I'm going to beat you until you loose your taste for blackmail" sounds different from how a furious man acts, leave alone a veteran warrior as he was; more like a stern and strict mother does to chastise a bratty teenage daughter.

Readers of the first edition, 3 generations back, when gender roles were stricter and physical punishment more widely accepted, would see right through it.


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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 00:30 
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Kathy Bates wrote:
It's a bit different. His personality is not that of a gay man; is more like a woman. A conservative, stern woman, to be more specific. Insulting beautiful women around, calling them dirty (too well mannered to use the full expression, "dirty whores") is a feminine wickedness, not something males usually do. Just as women are more jealous than males and more sensitive to minor things. Just as his whipping of Angélique after their wedding night, telling her "I'm going to beat you until you loose your taste for blackmail" sounds different from how a furious man acts, leave alone a veteran warrior as he was; more like a stern and strict mother does to chastise a bratty teenage daughter.
Well, who knows? He was maybe brought up surrounded of mad women ;) and so he did have in some things behaviour as a woman .... and there are many people who do have more that just one face ....

Somewhere in the book Angelique and the King mentioned Anne Golon his childhood .... I think! :roll:


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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 00:34 
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Kathy Bates wrote:
His hatred of women, desire to humiliate them, specifically the beautiful women like Angélique or Ninon de Lenclos;
His adoration / love for King Louis XIV;
His mania for self grooming and his peacocking appearance;
His rage when the King gave minor signs of displeasure (like a rejected jealous woman);

For modern people, this suggests homosexuality, yet, unlike Monsieur, brother of the King, he expressed no desire towards males.
This is right.... Although I do know many homosexual men, which are just loving woman - I mean as friends ;-)


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2016, 08:38 
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Our guy actually had some sympathy for Angélique. Which puzzles her (and the King) as much as the readers.

1649 in Poitou, just before the finding of the poison box, he pouted at the idea of seeing her again, yet danced with her.
1665 in Paris, he visited her and generally acted friendly before the blackmail.
1666, just after their wedding. (The Road to Versailles, Original) Threatened to strangle her, but he got ashamed of himself. Beat her with his whip, and stopped when he got ashamed of himself. Raped her, then got again ashamed of himself :mrgreen:
Late this year:
-risks his life to save her from the wolf; as the old squire said, he got white with fear at the mere thought she got mauled by the wolf;
-comes determined to beat Angélique to submission, yet he gets again ashamed of himself when hearing she carries his child and fondles her lovingly.
Just after the child is born (Angélique and the King, Original), she finds out he ordered a suite in his Parisian palace to be renovated and decorated for his woman... which meant he still expected her to live with him as a wife does.

This means he didn't actually reject 100% Angélique. More like he couldn't stand anything but slavish submission (as it's expectable from conservative, strict people...) from a woman and responded with fists and whips at each sign of disobedience.

King Louis XIV comments to Angélique in private that a man who does like this is a great imbecile. The same King who understood well the evil people; for him, being an imbecile was worse than being cruel and wicked.


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